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Late-Round Picks Who Could be Rookie of the Year Contenders in 2023

A handful of  players who stood out in Patriots vs Packers game
Late-Round Picks Who Could be Rookie of the Year Contenders in 2023

It’s usually not hard for oddsmakers to pick out the betting favorites for NFL Rookie of the Year honors. The players who get picked higher in the draft, especially the quarterbacks, usually have the best chance. But there have been times when late-round picks have managed to shock everyone and become serious Rookie of the Year contenders, if not win the award.

While legal betting in the U.S. has caught on fast, the same is happening in Canada. There are countless betting sites in Canada for Canadian sports fans to explore in order to find one they like before the NFL season starts. For anyone interested in placing a bet on who will win the NFL’s Rookie of the Year awards in 2023, here are some players taken in the late-round of this year’s draft who are worth considering.

Roschon Johnson, Bears

Johnson’s former college teammate at Texas Bijan Robinson is considered one of the leading favorites to be Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2023. But Johnson shouldn’t be overlooked as a candidate despite being a backup to Robinson for most of his college career. Johnson is undoubtedly talented and should have a great opportunity after the Bears took him in the fourth round. Keep in mind that Chicago is trying to replace David Montgomery. While Khalil Herbert is in line to be the starting lineup, he might fit better as a complementary back. That should give Johnson an opportunity to work his way into the starting lineup for a team that led the NFL in rushing last season.

DeWayne McBride, Vikings

McBride was cut by the Vikes but they are going to do everything to bring him to their practice squad. I watched him play in high school and if they are able to bring him back he is a player to watch. McBride is another rookie running back who has a great opportunity in front of him. The Vikings moved on from Dalvin Cook this offseason, creating a void in their backfield. Alexander Mattison is the favorite to become Minnesota’s feature back, but if he doesn’t take the job and run with it, McBride is one of several candidates who could get a chance. He gained 7.3 yards per carry during his college career at UAB, rushing for over 3,000 yards and 32 touchdowns over the past two seasons. While McBride surely won’t replicate that productivity in the NFL, he has the tools and opportunity to have a breakout rookie season.

Dorian Williams, Bills

For Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, Williams is someone to watch closely. He has big shoes to fill in Buffalo after the Bills decided not to re-sign Tremaine Edmunds during the offseason. However, Williams has been praised for his performance during the preseason and looks poised to step in as Buffalo’s starting middle linebacker. That will give Williams an ample opportunity to showcase himself as one of the top defensive rookies in the league. If the Buffalo defense doesn’t miss a beat with Williams stepping in for Edmunds, it’ll become obvious that he should be taken seriously as a Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate.

Kayshon Boutte, Patriots

Even Bill Belichick has praised Boutte for his performance during the preseason. The longtime New England coach probably wouldn’t say that if Boutte wasn’t going to have a role on the Patriots this year. While he didn’t quite fulfill his potential during his three years at LSU, Boutte has the talent to be a productive receiver in the NFL. With the Patriots a little short on options for quarterback Mac Jones, Boutte has a chance to work his way into the starting lineup and quickly become the type of receiver who will garner attention for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.

Damond Talbot

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

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